A small town in the Netherlands may be the future site of a European data center for Apple (AAPL), according to media reports. Apple's project, codenamed "Saturn" could bring 150 to 200 jobs to Eemshaven, in the Groningen province, a popular European destination for data centers.
According to media reports, a 40 hectare (98.8 acre) plot has been reserved for Apple. The region boasts numerous power generating stations, and a 156 megawatt wind farm. It is also home to the end of a high-capacity transatlantic fiber cable.
With Apple striving for 100 percent renewable energy use in its data centers, the proximity to a 156 megawatt wind farm makes sense. With around 1,000 megawatts installed or under development currently, the Netherlands has plans for an additional 4,450 megawatts in wind farms at sea by 2023.
A Growing Data Center Hub
The Netherlands is a prominent European location for data centers, with Amsterdam providing a wealth of connectivity options, one of the fastest Internet Exchange points in Europe (AMS-IX), and available space to build. Google has operated its data center in Eemshaven for over six years now. Listing the Netherlands as a strategically important market, Digital Realty partnered with Dutch Telecom KPN last summer to build a data center in Groningen. Colt operates a data center a few hours south of Groningen, and recently expanded with 1.65 megawatts of power and 10,000 square meters (107,639 square feet) of space.
It has also been reported that Microsoft is building a 17.5 megawatt data center in Noord-Holland, just south of Groningen, and north of Amsterdam.
Apple has been rapidly expanding the infrastructure to support its iTune and iCloud services since 2010, when it developed a 500,000 square foot data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The company is also building new server farms in Prineville, Oregon and Reno, Nevada and rumored to be planning another inHong Kong.